Entries categorized "Poetry" Feed

Summer Afternoon #1

Summer afternoon - summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.

  - Henry James


SA 2
SA 6

A quilt for my newest grand-nephew.  Based on Mother's Choice (The Kansas City Star 1946), it is # 3051 from Barbara Brackmans's Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns (1993) It measures 38" x48".

SA 1

A block from my Quilt for Pulse.  The center heart pattern is from Cluck, Cluck Sew, as recommended by the Orlando Modern Quilt Guild.  They are an incredible group of people.  Thank you, Alissa, for getting this together.

SA 4

I have another grand-nephew on the way.  I'll show you more of the quilt later.  It is Boy's Nonsense from the  Ladies Art Catalogue (c. 1895), #2811 in Barbara Brackmans's Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns (1993).

SA 5

A beautiful summer afternoon.

Take care,



Finding Liberty

My husband is a tie-wearing man.  He has quite a collection.  Some have sentimental value, some are classics, some are just sitting in his closet.  I have never pressured him in to giving me his no-longer-loved ties because while the idea of a tie silk quilt is truly an interesting one,  I have below zero interest in struggling with silks.  In fact, I have a nice collection of my own tie silks fresh off the bolt from a designer friend, yet I can't part with them (I know you understand).

But, a cotton tie with a bright and sunny print would make me reconsider.  El Jefe was done with these ties and he asked if I would be interested.




Uh, yeah.  Just what I need this week, a week that is shaping up to be grey, stormy, cold and snowy, a week that makes me think of a line from one of my favorite Shelly poems:

Oh Wind, if Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?

Spring is just 40 days away.


Take care,




Just One S'more Day


And that was that.

It was a gorgeous summer and I am s-o-o-o sad to see it go.  Our last night on the beach together was just what I wanted: a clear sky with a beautiful sunset, no mosquitoes, my extremely funny friends, and a cool and lovely breeze that made me reach for a quilt at just that precise moment when the sun said . . . see ya.

And yet here it is again, another stunning day.  It takes a while to say good-bye to my favorite season and all the good things about it: boat rides, hot breezes (and cool ones), starry skies, a little color in my cheeks (don't tell my dermatologist) and all manner of foods cooked outside - except fruit.  I'll never understand grilled peaches when there is nothing better than a fresh peach, on its own.  So what is the ultimate dessert cooked outside on a grill?  Yes, the lovely s'more.  I suppose as long a you have a gas grill you could eat s'mores all year long, but don't.  A s'more is that one dessert that should only be eaten from Independence Day through Labor Day.  I'm kind of rigid about that, but I will allow an October s'more fest on a campout if you're into that sort of thing.

But if you are a purist like me, I offer you this: a s'mores quilt, to be enjoyed whenever.


and a little free verse as well:

smokin' s'mores, one more time

combusting fire pit of sugar

my mouth is seriously a-flame

And I mean that, literally.  Who has not bitten into a s'more when it was still on fire, that little sugary ember, hidden in the folds of ash?


And who has not laughed when eating s'mores?  They are messy sweet treats and the little dance we all do to extinguish the firestorm in our mouths is just an other exercise in summer fun.  It's just so worth it.

Happy Labor Day.


Take care,


Ode On Finishing A Quilt During A Heat Wave

(With apologies to John Keats, Edgar Allen Poe, C.C Moore and Frank Sinatra,

and special thanks to my hand and feet models, Jill and Alice)


A glorious summer, not too cool, not too hot. 


Wispy days spent stitching,

pop - pop - pop.


With some speedy hand-quilting, 

I got to the edge.

Soon to be finished,

 this project, I pledged.


 The quilt was squared off,

the binding - pinned,Ode-to-Quilting-heat2

A chair selected, a beverage un-tinned;

how lovely to sew in the evening summer wind.


And then -

the breeze faded, the trees stopped blowing,

mosquitoes a-flight;

should I give up my sewing?

The temperature rose,

sweat fell down my cheeks,

I stitched nevermore

(well, at least three weeks).


 It sat on my chair,

forlorn and alone,

sulking and drooping,

like a teenager - sans phone.

 Days became weeks.  

The mercury soared.   

So sad to see my hexie quilt -                                        




I rallied.  

No quilt of mine, Ode-to-Quilting-Heat1

so close to completion,

would sit waiting and watching,

like Keat's urn (Grecian),

for the weather to cool,

the winds to blow,

the roof to be covered in

new-fallen snow.

I carried on, with thread and thimble,

stayed up way too late and watched

Jimmy Kimmel.


The heat is still high,

not a breeze to be found,

but my quilt is finished,

it's binding -

now bound.


Lo, my broken heart - to see summer ceasing,

Time on the beach rapidly decreasing.

But let's not forget that soon we'll be freezin'

and stitching is good for you, no matter the season.


Take care,





Sea Fever

Not a lot of quilting going on here, but there's lots going on outside.  The Long Island Sound at the end of July is all about shape, color and texture.  Inspiration is all around.  So many ideas, so little time!








I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide

Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;

And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,

And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.

from Sea Fever by John Masefield

Happy Birthday Karma (and a Giveaway!)

   July is a busy month for my family and quite a few of my friends.  We have 14 birthdays to celebrate and as of this morning, we have 15.  

    Piper, my great-niece (!), made her debut at 12:30 this morning.  She shares her birthday with her great uncle.  That's another thing we do a lot of here - share birth dates.  Piper arrived a little earlier than expected but honestly I can't blame her because July is the best month and I think she was eager to see it all.  Mother, father and child are doing beautifully, thank you, and resting comfortably - hence no pictures!

A babe in the house is a well-pring of pleasure, a messenger of peace and love,

a resting place for innocence on earth, a link between angels and men.  

Martin Farquar Tupper (born July 17, 1810)

    So on that happy note, I am happy to share some happy karma with you because my very own happy birthday is this week too!  Cue Pharrel Williams!

    If you read my post on the American Made Brand fabric giveaway from a few weeks ago, you know how happy I was to have found a fabric company that is producing fabric in the USA, from seed to bolt (actually, they found me which made me even happier).  Part 2 to all of this is AMB is offering this snappy little 13" x 15" bag, perfect for the beach, the market or the park (vegetables not included).  Here's your chance to win.  Just leave a comment about your kind of happy day and I'll pick the happy winner on Sunday, July 13th at 3 P.M. EST. 

A project you might want to store in your American Made Brand bag is your entry to the Celebrating Farm to Fabric Challenge.  In association with Quilts Inc., this will be a juried exhibition of quilts made exclusively from Clothworks American Made Brand cotton.  Think about his:  What does it mean to you, your family or your community to bring fabric production back to America to ue in your American made quilts?

The exhibit will premiere at the International Quilt Market and Festival, October 25 through November 2, 2014.

Registration opens June 15 to August 15, 2014 and notification is by September 5, 2014.  Accepted quilts arrive on Houston on October 1, 2014. 

If you would like more information, click here.

AMB market bag

Cute bag, huh?

Take care,


Not Summer

Happy Autumn!   Time for an old favorite.  





Autumn (34" x 45")

It's not that I don't love cooler weather, the color orange, making beouf bourguignon, hand-quilting by the first fire of the season, switching from white wine to red, and hot tea before bed.  It's just that autumn is . . . not summer.

For all of it's red-orange-yellow potency, fall is the most subtle of the seasons.  It lets the leaves do the work, lets the glow come from the ground instead of the sky.  The tired old sun - burned out - just steps aside, exhausted, retiring earlier each day. 


In fall, everything which once looked so familiar now looks so different.  You see the world through different eyes.



You see the world through autumn, the close bosom-friend of the maturing sun!  (Thank you John Keats!)

Take care,


I'm In Love (And This Time It's For Real)

We've been down this road before, a love affair with thread which started out nice enough and then sadly, ended.  But this time, I see no end in sight.

Everything came together on this project.  Really beautiful fabrics from Minick and SimpsonQuilter's Dream Request Batting, the right needle and now, the new love of my creative life, Finca Perle Cotton Thread by Presencia America (call them - we had a lovely conversation about thread).  First of all, take a look at that label:


It does have an old school look to it which admittedly, I am a total sucker for, but it's just an added visual treat every time I unspool a length.

The cotton for this thread is grown in Egypt and I would swear that I am sewing with silk.  It is both soft and sturdy, virtually tangle-free and has the occasional bump which adds to its tactile appeal.  Visually?  I mean, look at that color:  it is a rich Navy Blue, a perfect match to my blues and a complement to my cream.  The cotton is dyed in Spain which only adds to its allure. 


Using a thicker thread requires a bigger needle, or so I thought.  What I realized is that it's not the thickness of the needle that's critical here, but the size of the eye.  I'm using Dritz Quilter's Betweens Size 8.  The eye is much bigger than on any of my other quilting needles which makes threading easier, but it also gently makes a path for the thread to travel through the fabric.  I think I was getting wrist fatigue from pulling a bigger needle through all of those layers; here the needle is doing most of the work for me.


I wouldn't exactly say that I've mastered big stitch quilting, but I really enjoy it and that's really what it's all about, isn't it?  

Love doesn't make the world go 'round, love is what makes the ride worthwhile.

Elizabeth Barret Browning

Take care,



Sunday: Sit, Sew, Suspend #12

Ah! What pleasant visions haunt me Low-tide

As I gaze upon the sea!

All the old romantic legends,

All my dreams, come back to me.

Happy July, my favorite month of the twelve.  It is the peak of the year - sunlight, corn, color and fresh air. It is grey gulls and wild storms, books on the beach with a nap thrown in for good measure.  It is the moon and sun and shooting stars and starfish and fried fish and fishing lines and beach towels drying on a clothes line. 


 In each sail that skims the horizon,

In each landward-blowing breeze,

I behold that stately galley,

Hear those mournful melodies;

I'm drafting a Mariner's Compass, the first time for me.  To say that I need a some navigational help with this is an understatement, but I'm a big believer in trial and error when it comes to quilting.  


Till my soul is full of longing,  Palm-Beach-hat 

For the secret of the sea,

And the heart of the great ocean

Sends a thrilling pulse through me.


This is a quilt after all, something a lot more forgiving than the big ocean blue. 

from The Secret Of The Sea, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

            Take care,